I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but are you using it yet?Retinol is probably one of the most popular, controversial, complicated, and expensive skin care ingredients. Do you have questions? Have you tried it before? What did you think? How did your skin react? Will it help your skin look better as we come into the spring? Absolutely! Do you talk about any of these skin concerns?
- Sun spots
- Dull skin
What is Retinol?
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A. There are several types that come from different sources. Retinoids come from animal proteins or are cultured. Carotenoids are from vegetable sources and are typically orange. We are usually talking retinoids when it comes to skin. And there is a progression from weakest (or least bio-available) to strongest (which you can only get with a prescription). Retinyl Palmitate—>Retinal—>Retinol—> Retinoic Acid (only for use with a prescription because it is fully bio-available and very strong). When I am creating a product or talking about how it works I am always going to be talking about retinols.
How does it actually work?
Basically retinol supports all the systems your skin relies on to look its best. Retinol helps to boost collagen production; which in turn plumps your skin. Retinol sloughs off the top layer of dead skin and reveals that new, fresh skin underneath, helping your skin look brighter. Retinol evens out melatonin production to slow down sun spots and uneven skin tone. Because retinol is working on all these other areas such as turning over dead skin cells and activating new cell production it also helps deal with some of the underlying causes of acne including residue build up in your pores.
Some of the drawbacks…
Okay, if retinol is so universally useful and will help me look a million years younger, not have acne and stop the sun spots why isn’t everyone using it? I don’t know?!? But here are some of the reasons people try it and stop using it.
- It takes a little getting used to. Sometimes, it can cause you to slough your top layer of skin too fast and your skin feels rough for a week or two. The best way to deal with this is to use the Retinol cream less regularly. If you have been using it twice per day just use it once.
- It doesn’t happen overnight. You will really begin to see results in 6 weeks and the best results come after 6 months of regular use. Be patient!!!
- People can have a reaction to it. If your skin feels irritated then it might not be for you, and we will find you a better solution, or you might just want to try using it a couple times per week.
- It can make your acne worse before it gets better 🙁 You know how acne is often developing under the skin before it bursts out? Well, retinol brings all the gunk to the surface and can give you one final breakout before you get to that clear skin you’re dreaming of.
- Does it really cause sunburns? No, but it can make you more sensitive to them. BE SURE to wear sun protection if you are using retinols.